Mocs' Nick Davison rising to challenge

Mocs' Nick Davison rising to challenge

September 16th, 2010 by John Frierson in Sports - College

There's not much subtle about Nick Davison.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga defensive tackle pursues the football with force and determination and doesn't mince words.

When asked for a word to describe being 0-2 after blowing fourth-quarter leads to Appalachian State and Jacksonville State, now ranked Nos. 1 and 4, respectively, he quickly responded: "Sickening," he said.

Staff photo by Jake Daniels/Chattanooga Times Free Press -- Sept 15, 2010 Mocs defensive tackle Nick Davison tries to slip past an offensive lineman during practice on Wednesday. The Mocs football team practiced on Scrappy Moore Field on Wednesday afternoon.

Staff photo by Jake Daniels/Chattanooga Times Free Press...

Davison, from Calhoun, Ga., spent two years at UAB before transferring to UTC in the spring. He fit in right away, forming a "Nick and Nick" duo with fellow junior defensive tackle Nick Craig.

The powerfully-built bruiser (6-foot, 280 pounds) had some good moments in his first game with the Mocs, against Appalachian State. But he, and the rest of the defensive line, played at a much higher level at JSU last Saturday.

"Our defensive front played great and dominated," Mocs coach Russ Huesman said.

On the Gamecocks' first play from scrimmage, Davison broke through the line and stopped running back Calvin Middleton for a loss of a yard.

On the first play of the Gamecocks' next drive, Davison drilled Middleton for a 4-yard loss.

"I was a little bit nervous against App State because it being my first game with the Mocs and everything," he said. "I felt like I played decent in that game. And then against Jax State I was more comfortable and got used to things."

One reason Davison played so well against the Gamecocks, defensive line coach Jimmy Lindsey said, is because he, along with Craig, stuck with what the coaches wanted them to do rather than "freelancing."

"I think Nick did respond to the challenge that we issued him," Lindsey said. "We told him that he would have a chance to make some plays and he used his quickness to his advantage. We're fortunate that he bought into that and went out and executed."

Said Huesman: "The two plays Nick made early, he did it exactly how we coached him to do it."

UTC's three defensive tackles, the two Nicks and La'Nard Carr, combined for 17 tackles. That's 17 plays out of the 81 the Gamecocks ran that went for little to no gain.

The Mocs' front line, including ends Chris Donald and Josh Williams, will be going up an EKU offensive line Saturday that has problems with pass protection and run blocking.

In its first two games, losses at Missouri State and Louisville, the Colonels have allowed 14 sacks, two more than any other team in the FCS. In addition, EKU is averaging just 63.5 rushing yards per game, and 2.1 yards per rush.

Extra points

Huesman said cornerback Buster Skrine (dislocated elbow) will practice today for the first time since getting hurt in the opener. If all goes well he could play Saturday. ... The Mocs are trying to avoid their first 0-3 start since 2004, when UTC dropped its first six games.

Contact John Frierson at jfrierson@timesfreepress.com or (423) 757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mocsbeat.


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